Normally I still very clear of t-shirt and souvenier shops but in Carmel, Joe and I went to town. I ended up with two beautiful t-shirts that I wear all the time- nice soft material and pretty- and a great brown hoodie. I think Joe bought 3 t-shirts for himself and one for his mom.
Ironically, the town's ordinance bans t-shirt shops.
There are over 120 individual art studios and galleries in Carmel, showcasing art from all around the world. In fact, today they comprise one third of all city businesses. These are the link to Carmel's bohemian roots. However, not all Carmel residents are happy about having so many art galleries. With most merchandise on consignment, galleries are less costly to operate and tend to be the top choice to replace other shops which go out of business. Anecdotal evidence suggests that at least half of all art sold is shipped out of state, so no sales tax goes to the city.
Many people remember Clint Eastwood as the mayor of Carmel (1986-88). He has many ties to the area including a hotel (Misson Inn), two golf course (Tehama Golf Club and part owner of Pebble Beach) and he even named his production company, Malpaso Productions, for a creek just south of town.
Eastwood is a native Californian who discovered the Carmel area when he was stationed a few miles north at Fort Ord during the Korean War. After leaving the military, his friends Martin Milner of Route 66 and David Janssen of The Fugitive persuaded him to try acting and the rest is movie-making history. Eastwood spent his early movie-making years in Los Angeles, but he eventually returned to the Carmel area where he still lives.
While many people refer to Hog's Breath Inn as "Clint's Place" he sold his ownership in the place.
Carmel has hundreds of amazing beach-side and ocean-view cottages, multi-million dollar cottages, but still cottages!
One of the most famous is Tor House, located at 26304 Ocean View Avenue. The house was built by poet Robinson Jeffers in 1918-1919. The attached Hawk Tower was built from 1920 to 1924. Tours of the house and Hawk Tower are $7.
Other famous structures include The First Murphy House (1902; now a Visitors' Center), the Tuck Box Tea House (1927) and the Hansel House (1924).
Tours of the historic Carmel cottagesare available for $10 per person.
The Mission Gardens have a variety of beautiful flowers to enjoy. From the bouganvillia climbing on the adobe walls to colorful flower beds. The grounds of the traquil Mission Grounds are best explored in the Spring for color, but there are alot of succulents and evergreens that are nice year round as well.
This is one of my favorite things to do while visiting Carmel. There is the Carmel Plaza where you will find a multi-level shopping area with many fine shops. Banana Republic, the Sock Shop, Ann Taylor and much more can be found here. There is the Cheese Shop also, where you can sample fine cheese from all over the world.
Down Ocean Ave you will be treated to many fine art galleries, home furnishing and specialty boutiques. There is also a Tiffany jewelry store where I found some gorgeous crystal bowls for my mom and daughter-in-law for Christmas presents. The shop keepers are very friendly and informative as well. There is a special quaintness about Carmel that makes this a very nice place to shop. We like Casanova for lunch while shopping in this area, there is also Portabella which is a nice place to eat. Portabella is pet-friendly, also.
The bakeries in Carmel are also a very nice place to linger with a Latte or Cappachino while enjoying your sweet treat. There are cobblestone walkways and quaint little paths also, that will lead you into some shop to find a hidden treasure.
Carmel is a lovely small town , very relaxed and with a wonderful atmosphere. It has beautiful houses and nice shopping galleries and small shops.
To go for a walk and see all this , do some shopping, sit in a cafe while having a drink or a cappucino is a wonderful way of spending the time and getting acquainted with Carmel.
Don't forget to go down the street that leads to the beach and put your feet in the sand. The smell of the sea will make you feel really good!
From Carmel you can go through the scenic Big Sur. Big Sur is a thinly-settled region of the central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean.
This geology produces stunning views and has become a magnet for global tourism.
Since gazing at the views while driving is not advisable, the highway features a number of strategically placed turnouts allowing motorists to stop and admire the landscape.
Indeed, the section of Highway 1 running through Big Sur is widely considered as one of the most scenic driving routes in the United States, if not the world.
Besides sightseeing from the highway, Big Sur offers hiking, mountain climbing, and other outdoor activities.
Carmel beach is a wonderful place to chill down and take a walk. It's almost deserted and if you do it at the end of the day, it's delightful.
The sea is a bit rough usually and it's windy but for me it was an excellent way to unwind and see the magnificent views surrounding the beach.
The Spaniards founded the self-assured and picturesque coastal place Carmel. Around the turn of the 20th century it changed in a refuge for the bohemians of San Francisco. Carmel has about 5,000 wealthy inhabitans (one of them is ex major Clint Eastwood) and they don't want that their narrow streets are polluted by neon-signs, traffic lights and hot dog stalls.
Carmel is nestled between the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course to the north and the spectaculor Big Sur Coast by the south. By carefully guarding the natural beauty of the area, Carmel has created an European style retreat away from all the headaches of everyday life.
Carmel by the Sea is home to some beautiful crescent beaches. The most popular is Carmel Beach with its famous white sand. The water is a beautiful aqua blue color and the pristine shores are crowned with native bush and surrounded by hills covered with majestic Monterey Pines and Cypress.
While walking around the beautiful grounds of the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo we discovered some beautiful statues of Father Serra, a Nun and Catholic Saints. They are a real work of art as well as a source of inspiration for many.
Founded by Father Junipero Serra on Pentecost Sunday in 1770, this mission was his favorite. He is buried here. It's a very fine example of Spanish architecture, and a key part of early California history.
The beach houses in Carmel have been restored, expanded, and otherwise enhanced from the tiny bungalows of the 1930's to modern works of art now worth millions. The building codes are very strict in Carmel, such that building up is not possible if the view of the property behind is blocked, so when modification is done, special orange barrier plastic outlines the planned height and area to be expanded into, in case deep pocketed neighbors want to complain or contractors are tempted to fudge additional height. Cyprus trees can't be cut down, but rather must be built around and protected at the root base during construction work. The stone work and roofing of these homes are world class efforts done mostly by local contractor talent and workers capable of such artestry. The photos here don't do justice to the setting and extraordinary efforts found in Carmel.
Along the Monterrey coast in general, the sea life is very rich. Birds, sea lions, otters, and whales are common tourist attractions here. I like going to visit Pebble Beach along a cove where the biologists have fenced off the beach access to protect sea lions. In this cove also are many otters swimming. The tide pools are great places to see the sea life in the water.
Full disclosure--didn't stay here, just walked in the lobby but it was such a stunner and was so...more
I loved the historic charm and cozy feel to this property. The grounds and gardens are meticulously...more
This is a great boutique hotel for Carmel-by-the-Sea as it is close to some of the better...more